Osteopathic medicine is based on 4 core principles:
The structure of the body & the way that it functions are intimately related
The body functions as an Integrated Whole, no part is separate
The body contains an inherent understanding on how to heal itself
Proper blood supply & drainage of the tissues are necessary for health
When the body starts to produce symptoms, such as pain, it’s a signal from the body asking us to pay attention… there is no stronger signal than pain. Most of the time, many of us are not use to listening to our bodies & may ignore the signals. Either we want the pain to go away or we’re not ready to listen to what are body is telling us, but these strategies are rarely helpful. Symptoms, such as pain, may appear because 1 of the 4 Osteopathic prinicples are compromised. Initially, our bodies recognise that something is wrong & goes into an ALERT stage. Our bodies will try to accomodate the pain as the body tries to RESOLVE the issue on its own accord. If our bodies are strong enough, through proper nutrition, exercise, sleep & hydration, we can overcome the pain & the body will come back to its natural healthy state. However, it the problem persists for days, weeks & months on end, the body eventually becomes EXHAUSTED & the symptoms become even stronger. Its at this point that someone may seek Osteopathic treatment.
As Osteopaths, we are constantly searching for health in your body. By using the Osteopathic principles, we have a strategy on how to find the problem, remove it & allow the body to come back to a natural, balanced state. We are always searching for the root of the problem, similar to a large tree with deep roots underground. The symptoms appear on the branches & the cause is generally buried in the roots. Osteopaths will work from the branches, un-covering each layer, working towards the trunk until we get to the problem deep below the ground. Some of the root causes that produce symptoms may include the scenarios below:
One of the most obvious causes of symptoms, such as pain, is the result of a traumatic event. These may include motor vehicle accidents, a fall, sports injuries, or bending & lifting in an awkward position. With trauma, the relationship between the injury & the onset of pain is usually more obvious. The traumatic event may be as recent as within a few days or may be from events that happened earlier in our lives.
These causes are generally the result of multiple mini-events that combine to cause one large debilitation scenario. We commonly find that patient’s have difficulty isolating the exact cause of the pain. Generally, the pain is gradual & build’s over time. A common response we hear in consultation is that, “It was never right since…” or, “it’s been like this for ages”. As mentioned previously, the body can withstand a certain amount of pain as it tries to resolve the issue. We begin to compensate how we move our bodies in order to function with daily activities. Our body can withstand a certain amount of compensation, but will eventually ‘give-way’ & possibly become, “the straw that broke the camel’s back”. This is when the pain becomes debilitating & often the reason why people seek Osteopathic treatment.
Complex Multi-Factorial Causes:
Sometimes pain presents in multiple layers giving a much more complex scenario. Symptoms may not be limited to physical traumas & can involve different body systems or stages of life. We are complex beings living in a complex world. Repetitive strains on a daily basis, occupational or postural strains, anxiety at work or at home, constantly worrying about situation we cannot control; the range of conditions is varied & unique to each person, but they all leave imprints on our physical bodies. It is the build-up of all these stains that leave the body exhausted & unable to fully resolve itself back to a healthy state.
Our Body tells a story:
As Osteopaths, it is our job to sift through all the layers & get to the root cause of the problem. By listening to our patients, putting together a comprehensive health history, performing a thorough physical examination, the story of your body begins to unfold under our hands. Sometimes the story is straightforward & sometimes not. We use a holistic model of health that incorporates your biological, psychological & social aspects to create a ‘bigger-picture’ of how your pain is influenced by your life. Investigating this complexity is what separates us from other health care modalities & allows us to treat you as an individual with individual needs allowing you to fully recover from your pain. The earlier you seek help, the quicker we can begin to resolve your pain getting you back to the activities you love to do.